April 11, 2011
Today marks the end of an era. The collective behind FreeDarko has decided to call it quits.
I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to say that FreeDarko has changed the way we write about sports on the web. They weren’t the first basketball bloggers but they are certainly among the most influential. Bethlehem Shoals, DrLawyerIndianChief, Brown Recluse Esq, Big Baby Belafonte introduced a brand of literary irreverence not often seen in sportswriting. That’s not to say that they didn’t take basketball seriously. On the contrary, FreeDarko took basketball as seriously as the most advanced metric devotee. Their lack reverence was for basketball convention.
Touting concepts such as Liberated Fandom and the Positional Revolution, FreeDarko sometimes read like more of a manifesto than a sports blog. More than anything, though, FD was a celebration of style. It was a reminder that we need the aesthetic just as much as the utilitarian. It was an inspiration, and it will be missed.
December 16, 2010
Today, we embark on our too-late non-denominational holiday (Christmas) gift guide. I will present you with a few gift options at multiple price-points. Some may chose view this as a cheap way for me to generate multiple posts in a short time-frame or a transparent attempt to tell loved ones what to buy me. You know what I call those people? My wife. Anyway…
$16.50 at Amazon
I’ve already made my feelings about FreeDarko known on this site. I can also add that Bethlehem Shoals is a great guy to work with…not that this will make this book any more enjoyable. Still, anyone with even the slightest passing interest in basketball will really enjoy this book.
October 14, 2010
If you like basketball, sociology or just writing in general you need to be reading FreeDarko. They’ve been providing some of the best sports writing (and Slovenian Farm League analysis) on the web since 2005. In 2008, they released their first book, FreeDarko Presents: The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac: Styles, Stats, and Stars.
Macrophenomenal is an idiosyncratic analysis of the styles of the that moment’s most compelling NBA figures. Through their use of advanced statistics, vast basketball knowledge and beautiful illustrations, the authors come as close as anyone ever has to quantifying style…and there’s not a dry moment. But as brilliant as it is, it was slightly dated by the time it hit the shelves (you should still cop it). The book was just a little too of-the-moment and moments are fleeting.
Their new book, The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History aims to remedy that mistake by tackling the whole of pro basketball history. If the early excerpts and their “Dream Week” celebration are any indication, it’s going to be a must buy for anyone who loves basketball.